Seahawks back up Sherman's words so far

Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola took personally anonymous comments criticizing his team following a 1-3 start to the season.

He called those criticisms "a coward kind of statement" from someone hiding behind anonymity.

There was nothing anonymous about the move Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman made this week while preparing to face all-world Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. Sherman changed his displayed Twitter name to "Optimus Prime" in a nod toward the character known for defeating "Megatron" in Transformers lore. "Megatron" is, of course, the nickname for Johnson.

Raiola unloaded on Sherman to reporters Thursday. Detroit Free Press reporter Dave Birkett passed along the comments in a series of tweets. They included:

This is the sort of stuff that will likely have no bearing on the Seahawks-Lions game outcome Sunday. But it will certainly shape the postgame narrative if the Seahawks shut down Johnson, or if Johnson enjoys a strong game.

I went into this season thinking precocious defensive backs from the NFC West needed to brace for a tough 2012 season featuring games against a long list of top quarterbacks. That hasn't been necessary to this point, particularly for the Seahawks.

The chart ranks by receiving yardage every player with at least 50 yards in a game against Seattle this season. I've added rows listing totals for other notable players, beginning with Carolina's Steve Smith, who struggled against Sherman and drew a penalty in frustration.

Sherman has been a very good player for Seattle since becoming a starter as a rookie last season. He is quickly becoming the most provocative Seahawks player in recent memory.

In addition to taking on Brady, Sherman has called San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, his former coach at Stanford, a "bully" following Harbaugh's remarks questioning Seattle's tactics in the secondary. In March, Sherman warned that Peyton Manning would have at least two rough games a season if he signed with San Francisco. In April, Sherman also warned newly drafted Arizona Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd to expect difficulties against Seattle.

2012 NFL Receivers vs. Seahawks: 50+ Yards and Other Notables